Effective Altruism is a movement outlined in a recent issue of TIME magazine. EA embraces the philosophy that we have a responsibility to all inhabitants of the planet earth, now and into the far future, by virtue of our connection. Likewise, we have a commitment to the long term viability and health of the earth and its components. Why? It turns out this commitment to others and the future actually has benefits for us - doing good causes us to feel better about ourselves, and consequently our lives have more meaning. How do we put this sense of community and commitment to the future into action in our lives?
In the daily decisions we make, even a slight shift in our decision making toward this thinking can have a profound effect. Actions like embracing a plant based diet demonstrate the mutual benefits to our health and the health of the planet. Even bringing one’s own shopping bags to the grocery store is an example of longtermism which promotes the health and safety of our global community.
Using Dr. Lisa’s and my life as example, supporting our guest Ukrainian refugee family has made us feel more like citizens of the world than expensive vacations to foreign countries ever would. And that gift came to us as the result of an apparently inconsequential conversation we had at home.
I suggest mindfulness to the principles of effective altruism in your daily activity and decisions. It may be that what seems like insignificant actions can have profound long term consequences on our global family, and YOU, now and in the future. Let’s try to do our best to be the best for the most and longest.
Dr. John Monaco